David Ortiz signed baseball to FCC chairman with F-Bomb

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Over at Bleacher Report today, Joon Lee has an oral history of the time when, in the wake of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, David Ortiz gave his instantly famous “This is our F***ing city” speech at Fenway Park.

The story is, quite obviously, about the city, the impact of the bombings and the inspirational role Ortiz and the Red Sox played in the recovery from that tragedy. But there is a hilarious side note to it all too.

Ortiz’s speech was on television, of course, and pursuant to FCC guidelines, one is not supposed to drop an F-bomb on broadcast TV when little ears might be listening. Indeed, Ortiz could’ve been fined for that. The then-FCC chairman Julius Genachowski fielded complaints, but he was watching it as it happened and he says in the story that, at the time, he thought to himself “No f–king way are we going to punish this.”

And they did not punish that, later telling Ortiz that the context mattered and the city needed to hear what he had to say. Gee, remember when the FCC did what people wanted?

Eventually Ortiz would meet Genachowski, and Ortiz would give him a gift:

Ortiz: The FCC came to the field with his whole family. He wanted to meet me, and I was like, Oh s–t. I’m in trouble.

Genachowski: We got to meet Big Papi in the dugout.

Ortiz: It was like, “Look, you said something that got this city moving forward. It took the fear out of people. You have no idea what you just said. That’s going to be in the history of New England forever. It was right when we needed it. Don’t worry. We needed that F-bomb.”

Genachowski: I asked Big Papi to sign a baseball, and he wrote, To Julius: F–king awesome.

A photo of the ball is in the story. Go check the entire thing out.

Phillies’ Bryce Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery

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PHILADELPHIA – Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery.

The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team.

The 30-year-old Harper suffered a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to designated hitter.

Harper met Nov. 14 with ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, necessitating surgery.

Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career home runs.

With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto also could serve as the DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.